Something happened last night (or this morning in the UK). There was a disturbance in the force and millions of voices cried out in jubilation, not to be silenced until December. The first full trailer for STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI dropped and it was good.
The quote I’ve used as a headline comes from Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) himself, and I think he is speaking on behalf of his director Rian Johnson directly to their audience. Johnson is not known for playing it safe and he and his team will be taking risks. Revelations, shocks and surprises aplenty are on their way.
We see Rey (Daisy Ridley) in training, a haunted Luke seemingly in terrified awe of her skill, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) brooding and apparently gunning for his mother Leia (Carrie Fisher), Finn (John Boyega) settling a score with Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), Chewbacca sharing his cockpit with an excited porg/space penguin. There’s almost surely some editing trickery in the succession of images and soundbites from longer conversations presented without context. Everything is still guess work at this point, and that’s how I like it.
Here’s how I think things could go down, my best guesses in no particular order:
By the end of the film Rey and Ren will have either switched places, or Luke will have fallen fully to the Dark Side. The light/dark balance will be maintained but the shape of it will have changed. Luke will be in hiding not out of shame at his failure, but because he has committed some truly horrific act. Maybe when he saw Ren luring the other apprentices down a dark path, he took it on himself to put them down (“the raw strength” he now fears could have been his own). Luke will be a changed man, he will be morally compromised, he will be on the precipice of a final, decisive fall. I still think Snoke (Andy Serkis) is far less than he seems, something in the realm of THE WIZARD OF OZ, though he does seem to be using a force power to torture Rey at the close of the trailer (again, this could be clever editing). As for Rey, they’re keeping the issue of her parentage firmly under wraps for now, but it seems like her journey ahead will be far more important than where she came from.
I might be completely wrong about all that, and there are plenty of interesting directions they could go, but I’m very much looking forward to finding out. I might try and avoid any future trailers for the film lest something is spoiled. I’m just going to breathe and trust in Rian Johnson. SSP